Fiery-throated Hummingbird Panterpe insignis Scientific name definitions
Version: 2.0 — Published April 7, 2023
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Species names in all available languages
|English (United States)||Fiery-throated Hummingbird|
|French (French Guiana)||Colibri insigne|
|Spanish (Costa Rica)||Colibrí Garganta de Fuego|
|Spanish (Panama)||Colibrí Garganta de Fuego|
|Spanish (Spain)||Colibrí insigne|
|Turkish||Ateş Gerdanlı Kolibri|
Tyler Wenzel revised the account. Peter Pyle contributed to the Plumages, Molts, and Structure page. Tyler Wenzel and Arnau Bonan Barfull curated the media.
Panterpe insignis Cabanis & Heine, 1860
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The Fiery-throated Hummingbird is the sole member of the genus Panterpe and is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama. Two subspecies are recognized, with P. i. eisenmanni being limited to the Cordillera de Guanacaste, in far northwest Costa Rica. Males and females of both subspecies are similar to one another in appearance, generally appearing green with a blue tail. From an appropriate angle, the observer can also glimpse the glittering, golden-copper throat and the glittering blue crown. The center of the species’ abundance is in highland oak forests at 2,000‒2,500 m elevation; more generally, Fiery-throated Hummingbird inhabits montane and cloud forests, second growth, shrubby sub-páramos, or highland pastures with trees. Within the forest, the birds spend most of their time in the canopy but come much lower near edges, openings, and in second growth. It shares many morphological features—such as relatively broad wings, large feet, and a straight, slender bill—and a generalist diet with the coquettes (genus Lophornis) and a high-Andean clade of hummingbirds.
Fiery-throated Hummingbird most frequently forages at epiphytic flowers, by piercing long-tubed corollas or by using holes made by bees or the nectar-robbing Slaty Flowerpiercer. Both sexes are aggressive and defend flower-rich territories during the non-breeding season. During the breeding season, males continue to defend resource-rich flower patches and permit females to extract nectar from their flowers. Fiery-throated Hummingbird is considered to be the dominant hummingbird species in its distributional range; large numbers of this bird may swarm around artificial feeders sited in or close to appropriate habitats.